Camp UREC Talent Week Wrap-Up

Talent Show

By Keala Mason

Talent Week was July 29-August 2 at UREC!

The staff of Camp UREC is comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students from JMU. Since Talent Week was the final week of camp this summer season, we thought we would ask our counselors about their experiences. We had a variety of personality types from different backgrounds who brought various strengths to the team! Each had their own responses as a wrap-up to the Camp UREC experience:

What is your favorite Camp UREC memory/moment this summer?

  • Nick: Olympic track relays.
  • Josh: The Safari Park and being on the truck and seeing the animals.
  • Eileen: The Olympic ceremonies.
  • Alison: When the kids had small successes (climbing to the top of the rock wall, for example)
  • Megan: Olympics Week with the double points!
  • Logan: Field trip to Luray caverns and the water games we did.
  • Emmanuel: Whenever we played soccer.

In 3-4 words, sum up advice that you would give to future Camp Counselors:

  • Nick: Sense of humor!
  • Josh: Get enough sleep.
  • Eileen: Bring enough lunch.
  • Alison: Stay flexible, be positive!
  • Megan: Have an open mind.
  • Logan: Always be flexible.
  • Emmanuel: Here for the kids.

Did you learn anything new about yourself or others this summer?

  • Nick: Program development and management.
  • Josh: More about how to approach and talk to kids.
  • Eileen: How to double Dutch!
  • Alison: Being more patient and learned a lot about myself.
  • Megan: How to fill 60 water balloons in 10 minutes.
  • Logan: How to communicate better with others and that it is different when you actually do it.
  • Emmanuel: I learned that my nickname could be “Mr. E!”

What can we learn from kids?

  • Nick: Being a businessman and learning to make trades at lunch.
  • Josh: How to have fun and learn about yourself.
  • Eileen: How quickly you can forgive and forget.
  • Alison: I like how kids don’t dwell on things, they move on to the next fun thing.
  • Megan: Be creative & have a good time.
  • Logan: Don’t take things so seriously!
  • Emmanuel: Be free spirited.

Any additional comments?

  • Nick: Indescribable experience has to be felt to be understood.
  • Josh: Definitely something to look back upon!
  • Eileen: Going to miss the kids!
  • Alison: Good experience overall.
  • Megan: Truly enjoyed my summer.
  • Logan: Camp UREC is the best!
  • Emmanuel: Went by fast.

Big thanks to the Camp Counselor team this season for your time, energy, and effort!

See all photos from Talent Week!

Learn more about Camp UREC and register your camper today!

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Camp UREC Olympics Week Wrap-Up

Camp UREC Olympics - Track

By Keala Mason

Olympics Week was July 22-26 at UREC!

Cameron, age 10 and Alex, age 6 have frequented Camp UREC this summer season. Cameron has been a regular for a few years at camp and now his younger brother Alex is involved! We interviewed the boys separately, yet they had strikingly similar answers. Let’s find out more about Alex and Cameron:

What’s the best activity at Camp UREC?
Cameron: Meeting new people and going on the field trips!
Alex: Climbing the rock wall because it is so fun. Field trips I like too.

What has been your favorite field trip this season?
Cameron: Westover Pool because I hadn’t gone in a while.
Alex: Mostly to Safari Park and to Westover because they have a diving board.

Which UREC game has been your favorite this summer?
Cameron: Park Ranger. You think of your favorite animal and the Park Ranger calls out various characteristics. If your animal has that then you have to get from one side of the gym to the other without being tagged.
Alex: Park Ranger because you get to run!

This week was UREC Olympics Week: if you had to compete in an Olympic event (even if it is not currently one) what would it be?
Cameron: Ice Hockey.
Alex: The 100m sprint.

If you could choose a field trip where would you go?
Cameron: Water Park!
Alex: Probably the Water Park.

What skills have you learned at Camp UREC?
Cameron: I learned different games and how to play them.
Alex: New games, rock wall, made friends.

Big thank you to Alex & Cameron for their input!

See all photos from Olympics Week!

Learn more about Camp UREC and register your camper today!

Camp UREC Animal Week Wrap-Up

Three Campers with Giraffe

By Keala Mason

Animal Week was July 15-19 at UREC!

Two of our campers from Camp UREC who return weekly have given their input about another amazing week! Zeke, age 10, and Vesakhone, age 8, have commented below:

What are your hobbies?
Z: I like playing music, I play the trumpet and I like coin collecting.
V: I like playing the piano, singing, and I like to play soccer because my dad taught me.

What is your favorite thing that we did at Camp for Animal Week?
Z: The Safari Park! Looking at new animals and learning about them was fun.
V: Animal Yoga because Nick (UREC Counselor) is awesome!

What did you like about the field trip to the Safari Park?
Z: Riding the tractor pulled wagon because we got to feed the animals.
V: Same, I loved feeding the animals.

What are your thoughts on Camp UREC’s variety of activities?
Z: I like that I am able to try my best because the first week of camp I could barely climb the rock wall, which we do every week. But this week is my fifth and I can get to the top!
V: Rock climbing and swimming are very fun every week.

What do you think about the Camp UREC counselors?
Z: Each are nice and really fun to hang out with. They are helpful when you need help!
V: They teach us how to play games and teach us about respect.

Finally, what are your goals?
Z: I would like to be a chemist when I grow up.
V: When I grow up I’ll be a doctor or a dentist!

Animal week was a success: animal relays, animal yoga, arts & crafts (bird feeder), animal treats, animal scavenger hunt and animal trivia were just a few of our week’s fun. Our culminating activity was a trip to the Safari Park, Virginia’s drive-thru zoo. It is home to 1,000 exotic animals from 6 continents! Check out pictures from our Safari adventure.

See all photos from Animal Week!

Learn more about Camp UREC and register your camper today!

Camp UREC Movin’ and Groovin’ Week Wrap-Up

Two Campers Climb Rock Wall

By Keala Mason

We were Movin’ & Groovin’ all week at UREC July 8-12, 2013!

This week was jam-packed with activities to emphasize movement in a variety of ways. Campers created a groovy t-shirt with fringe and beads in arts and crafts, each developing their own style. We ventured to the Godwin Gymnastics Room where campers had time on the balance beam floor, bars, mats, and trampoline—even the ropes! Counselor Logan helped to lead this event since he is a part of the JMU Club Gymnastics team and Counselor Josh created a timed obstacle course in this space that the kids loved. Games at UREC in the Multi-Activity Center gym ranged from Park Ranger to Ships and Sailors to Elbow Tag and many other board games, card games, and activities.

Counselor Eileen taught and led two dances: one to Boom, Boom, Pow by the Black Eyed Peas and the other to Move America by Beyonce and the First Lady. We also ventured to Regal theater to see a choice movie: Popper’s Penguins or Chipwrecked, each with their own dancing animals, respectively. Counselor Nick put together Sports Trivia segment for the campers and had them divide into teams. Thursday we did water games in the courtyard, led by Counselor Megan which included a water balloon toss, obstacle course, and a water slide. Our Friday adventure was to Pump It Up—an inflatable play place and obstacle course, and then to Westover Pool for the afternoon to use the water slides, diving board, and pool place…as you can guess, we had a very active week!

The Gregory family enjoyed camp thoroughly this week and they have been coming to Camp UREC for a number of years—let’s find out what makes them keep coming back! Four of them were here this week: Anissa (8), Dylan (9), Garrett (10) and Colin (11) respond below:

  • How many brothers and sisters are in the Gregory family? Anissa & Dylan say together: “SEVEN!”
  • What do you all enjoy together as a family? Anissa: “We like our trampoline at home, love to travel and visit the lake.”
  • What do you like about Camp UREC? Anissa: “The counselor staff is nice and plans fun things.” Dylan: “Everyone at Camp UREC is well behaved”. Colin: “I like the MAC gym and all the games we play in there.” Garrett: “I like getting revenge on Keala with water balloons the most!” (in a goofy/fun way of course)
  • What do you learn from the counselor staff? Dylan: “Courtesy, niceness, politeness, and be healthy & stay fit!” Anissa: “Don’t just be a camper who sits around—always participate.”

Big thanks to the Gregory kids for their energy, fun and for their words!

See all photos from Movin’ & Groovin’ Week!

Learn more about Camp UREC and register your camper today!

Camp UREC Around the World Week Wrap-Up

Camp UREC Around the World Week

By Keala Mason

Camp UREC took a journey Around the World through the week of July 24-28, 2013!

Camp highlights for the week included flag making, “Red, White & Blue Relays”, smoothies, and our Friday field trip.  During our flag making competition, campers designed their very own flags for Camp UREC.  All flags were numbered and everyone had the chance to vote for the winning flag.  We had first place, second place and a tie for third place.

Winners from the Flag Competition

For the patriotic relay races, campers had to practice their teamwork, dashing back and forth with an American Flag, a red hat, and a patriotic button.  The winning team got to keep the beaded, silver necklaces on as their prize.  Nick, one of our counselors, showed the campers how to properly make a delicious, healthy smoothie.  Campers were given a taste-test to try to identify the secret ingredient…after finding out that spinach was included some of the campers couldn’t believe it!

Each week, swimming in the UREC pool and climbing the rock wall are built into the schedule – something the campers and counselors look forward to each week. Other fun at camp included an outdoor scavenger hunt, cooking experience with the dining services chef, trivia, Around the World Arts & Crafts (including creating a “suitcase” to hold all works of art) and camp songs.   Our favorite camp songs this week were the Beaver Song and the Mr. Rob song.

Our Friday visit to the Frontier Culture Museum allowed campers to walk through and literally step back through time.  Exhibits included West Africa, Germany, America, Ireland and more! Campers had hands-on experiences of the cultures and practices of each country.  At the Hess Butterfly Farm, campers got to experience the “Wonder of the Butterflies”, slide down a 50 ft slide on a burlap sack, interact with animals, and visit the Country Store.  There was also a carousel as well as various games that campers played.  Overall the week was a great success as we traveled Around the World!

Butterfly Farm

See all photos from Around the World Week!

Learn more about Camp UREC and register your camper today!

Camp UREC Heroes Week Wrap-Up

Police Talking to Kids

By Keala Mason

What is your definition of a hero? What kind of qualities do you look for in a hero? If you had a superhero power, what would yours be?

Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes. A hero can have the superhuman strength of Superman or the ingenuity of Indiana Jones. A heroine could have the humanitarianism of Helen Keller or the brazen of Batgirl. Heroes can be found almost anywhere: in literature, in film, or even local heroes in local neighborhoods.

June 17-21 was Camp UREC Heroes week! Campers were exposed to various activities, games, and events that were related to the theme of the Hero. Campers took part in an activity where they got to illustrate their heroes and share those with the group. Answers varied, from campers parents to friends, or even action-film characters. Campers were quizzed in Superhero Trivia, crafted their own Superhero capes (made from pillowcases), and identified local heroes with the Summer Safety program done by the local Harrisonburg Fire Department. UREC campers ventured to the JMU Planetarium, participated in gymnastics, climbed the rock wall and swam as well. Our Field Trip Friday expedition was to the New Market Battlefield where campers learned about Civil War heroes local to the Valley.

Seth Fernandez, age 10, remarks that his hero is “Messi, the Barcelona soccer player who is the best player in the world.” Seth admires Messi because Seth “likes soccer a lot and [Messi] inspires [him] to play soccer better.” Seth also thinks a hero possesses qualities such as: trustworthiness, reliability and heroism. When asked “which superpower would you want?” Seth said that he would want to “turn invisible to be able to sneak up on enemies.”

See all photos from Heroes Week!

Learn more about Camp UREC and register your camper today!

Camp UREC Mystery Week Wrap Up

Campers at Mystery Week

By Keala Mason

Let’s play a guessing game.  What am I?

  • Designed for 6-12 year olds
  • Full of activity & fun!
  • Swim, Climb & Play is our motto

…The answer: CAMP UREC at James Madison University!

Mystery Week kicked off Camp UREC’s summer 2013 season June 10-14, 2013.  Mia Constantin, age 10, says that Camp UREC’s Mystery Week was “great because she likes spies and other things like that.”  Mia’s favorite activity from last week was the Spy Training session, specifically the laser-simulation (made of “pretend lasers”) activity.  She learns all about friendships and enjoys summer camp because she “gets to see friends that (she) only sees in the summer.”

Other activities that the campers and counselors had a blast with were the mystery Mafia game, mystery paintings, invisible ink, making mystery pizzas at Festival Dining Services, playing with puzzles, expeditions like scavenger hunts through UREC, and a treasure hunt.  As always in our weekly programming, campers climbed the 33 ½ ft UREC rock wall, swam in the UREC pool and created their own masterpieces in our Arts & Crafts session.

Our field trip to Luray Caverns and the Garden Maze at the end of the week was a fun-filled, educational session and clearly one of the highlights of the week.  Campers learned about the difference between stalactites and stalagmites.  Do you know the difference?

Mia exclaims: “Stalactites hang tight to the ceiling and stalagmites might grow from the floor to the ceiling.”

See all photos from Mystery Week!

Learn more about Camp UREC and register your camper today!